“As a Latina and first-generation college graduate, I am no stranger to the value and importance of hard work, diligence, and persistence. I treat everything I do as if it is the most important thing I have ever done, because I firmly believe that the harder people work, the luckier they get.”
Melissa is an attorney in the Labor & Employment Department, focusing her practice on employment-related agreements, executive compensation and employee benefits, labor arbitration, and wage and hour matters. Melissa also represents clients in labor and employment related litigation, including discrimination, harassment, and wrongful discharge claims.
As a Latina and first-generation college graduate, Melissa values hard work, diligence, and persistence. For her, being a lawyer means being a lifelong learner: learning to stand in someone else’s shoes; learning to see through someone else’s eyes; and learning to make a tangible difference in the world. Melissa’s practice approach is holistic. She listens to her clients concerns, researches the governing law, and strategizes with the clients to make sure they are not only complying with the law but also maintaining a level of moral amongst their employees. Melissa is both a native speaker of English and Spanish.
When not working, Melissa coaches Penn State Law’s mock trial teams, plays intramural soccer, seeks out new, local restaurants, and reads novels, particularly those written by Jodi Picoult.
During law school, Melissa gained practical experience in the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic. As a student advocate, she obtained a favorable outcome for a pro se litigant after working on a team to submit a brief regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as amicus counsel.
Melissa also served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor Saylor of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, where she analyzed petitions for allowance of appeal to discern whether the Court should exercise its discretionary Jurisdiction, and drafted allocatur reports reflecting a recommendation. She also drafted majority opinions, dissents, and concurrences, reviewed and analyzed circulating opinions.
Melissa was one of five Penn State Law students selected to teach Mongolian lawyers about the U.S. legal system. She was a legal teaching assistant at The National University of Mongolia.
Melissa was also one of three Penn State Law students selected to participate in a roundtable discussion with Yale Law School Professor, James Forman, Jr., regarding the war on drugs and its ultimate relationship to mass incarceration.
Sex Trend or Sexual Assault?: The Dangers of Stealthing and the Concept of Conditional Consent
123 Penn. St. L. Rev. 217 (2018)
Police Sexual Violence: Police Brutality, #MeToo, and Masculinities
108 Calif. L. Rev. 1487 (2020)